Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Conte relieved to have striker solutions in Giroud and Morata




Conte relieved to have striker solutions in Giroud and Morata

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud runs with the ball during their English Premier League football match with West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on Monday night. AFP
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud runs with the ball during their English Premier League football match with West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on Monday night. AFP

Conte relieved to have striker solutions in Giroud and Morata

Antonio Conte is relieved to have options again up front in Olivier Giroud and fit-again Alvaro Morata ahead of what the Italian says is a “massive” few weeks for Chelsea.

Giroud’s touch set up Eden Hazard for the opening goal as Chelsea rolled over rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion 3-0 on Monday.

It moved them back into the Premier League top four and eased the mounting pressure on Conte following shock defeats to Bournemouth and Watford in their previous two outings.

Conte had been unable to name a recognised striker in either of those matches, with Morata sidelined for nearly a month due to a back injury and Giroud only having joined from Arsenal on January 31.

“We must be pleased for the Giroud performance,” Conte said of the Frenchman, who was replaced by Morata on the hour after a battling display in which he had his head bandaged and took a blow to the ankle.

“[It] was the first time to play from the start with us. For sure he needs to improve to go into our way of football, but to have a point of reference like Olivier is very important.

“We must be pleased because in the same night we found also Morata.

“I think he played very well in the last 30 minutes with great personality, with great spirit.”

Conte confirmed Giroud will be fit for Hull City’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Friday in the FA Cup fifth round, before three blockbuster clashes that will go a long way to deciding the outcome of Chelsea’s season.

The blues host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on February 20 before back-to-back Premier League visits to Manchester United and runaway league leaders Manchester City.

“Today was very important to get three points because only after a win you can consider a game as easy,” added Conte.

“We want to go to the next round [against Hull], then to prepare the game against Barcelona and then United and City. Three massive games for us.”

Fans back Conte

Chelsea’s recent slump and Conte’s outspoken comments over his lack of input to the club’s recruitment strategy had seen the odds slashed on him becoming the latest coach to be fired by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

But the Chelsea fans showed they were still fully behind Conte by chanting his name continuously throughout the second half.

“For sure to feel this atmosphere around me is very important,” Conte said.

“It’s very important to feel the people is appreciating my work here in Chelsea.

“Me and the players, we are trying to do our best to give them the best satisfaction.

“Sometimes we are able to do this, sometimes we are not able, but the will is always present.”

A strike from Victor Moses and Hazard’s brilliant second of the game rounded off another costly night for West Brom, who are seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table and lost Daniel Sturridge to a hamstring injury.

“He was distraught really because his personality and way he has worked at our place has been of the highest order,” manager Alan Pardew said of the on-loan Liverpool striker, whose career has been dogged by injuries.

“He’s devastated because he wants this period to be a success not just for him but for West Brom.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from